Innovation. Celebration. Collaboration.
One of the richest business pitch competitions in the nation.
  • Deadline Extended. Applications are open until January 30, 2015.
  • New format. New challengers. Same epic competition. May 26-30, 2015. Stay up-to-date.

Presenting Sponsors

Colorado State University College of Business Institute for Entrepreneurship Blue Ocean Enterprises, Inc.
Collegiate: May 26-27, 2015
Enterprise: May 26-30, 2015
Fort Collins, Colorado

The Competitions

So much more than a business pitch competition,the CSU Blue Ocean Enterprises Challenge is a collaboration between Blue Ocean Enterprises, Inc. and Colorado State University‘s Institute for Entrepreneurship and College of Business that was created to ignite entrepreneurial spirits, attract and recognize the best new business ideas, and celebrate the Fort Collins and Colorado entrepreneurial ecosystem. The week’s events will bring together some of the most influential trailblazers in the industry.

Collegiate Challenge

Collegiate Challenge

$20,000 grand prize
1 year Blue Ocean mentoring
a chance at the glory
additional prizes TBA

Enterprise Challenge

Enterprise Challenge

$250,000 grand prize
1 year Blue Ocean mentoring
unrestricted bragging rights
additional prizes TBA

The Trolley Pitch Competition

Same Collegiate Challenge competitors. New competition and prizes. As a historic street car makes its way around Old Town Fort Collins, each team will have two minutes to pitch its business plan before the trolley stops and a new team gets on. All are welcome to watch this competition, and hop on the Trolley to watch a pitch.

See 2014’s Enterprise Challenge, Collegiate Challenge and Trolley Pitch Competition.

Sign up for alerts Read the rules and regulations Preview the applicationApply now

The Competitors

CSU Blue Ocean Enterprises Challenge competitors are passionate leaders with a goal of changing the world through innovative ideas, hard work and ethical business practices. Competitors will present and defend strong ideas, practical solutions and growth potential. Sixteen Enterprise finalists and 12 Collegiate finalists will be chosen from across the United States to participate in this exciting opportunity. All companies must be incorporated, for-profit ventures with Federal EINs without required non-disclosure agreements. Last year there were 120 applications.

Collegiate Challenge Competitors

Competing for a $20,000 prize and entrance into the Enterprise Challenge competition, 12 collegiate competitors are aiming to prove their business idea is better than the rest in the Collegiate Challenge. These passionate and fresh faces from colleges across the state of Colorado have a chance to give their new business ventures a running start. Teams are limited to four presenting members, and at least one founder must be a currently enrolled student or recent alumni from an accredited university in Colorado.

Enterprise Challenge Competitors

With $250,000 on the line, 16 companies from across the United States have their eye on the prize of the Enterprise Challenge, which also includes a year of mentoring from Blue Ocean Enterprises and other notable prizes. The enterprise track competition is not for brand new concepts; the companies selected to compete must demonstrate at least $100,000 in gross annual revenue or investment in the last 12 months. The competitors will be judged by a panel of esteemed experts.

See 2014’s Collegiate Challenge competitors and Enterprise Challenge competitors.

Sign up for alerts Read the rules and regulations Apply now

The Sponsors

The CSU Blue Ocean Enterprises Challenge epitomizes collaboration and uplifts community. It’s an opportunity to come together as an ecosystem that nurtures entrepreneurs, grows businesses, and is passionate about building a shared entrepreneurial vision. This annual event wouldn’t be a reality without the generosity and vision of our sponsors

Presenting Sponsors

Visionary Sponsors

Launch Sponsors

Seed Sponsors

Financier Sponsors

Sponsor in 2015

If you want to explore sponsorship, please download our sponsor packet and sponsorship levels or inquire at

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The Events

The Blue Ocean Enterprises Challenge is a week-long event to be held in conjunction with Fort Collins Start-Up Week in Fort Collins, Colorado. The public is invited to participate in the experience and be a part of the excitement by attending the week’s many activities.
Fort Collins Startup Week

Challenge Schedule

May 27 Collegiate Competition
May 28 Enterprise Competition – Round 1
May 29 Trolley Pitch Competition and Enterprise Competition Quarter-Finals
May 30 Enterprise Competition Semi-Finals and Finals

Other Events

May 27 Collegiate Bash
May 28 VIP Reception
May 29 Opening Ceremony
May 29 Venture and Partner Showcase
May 30 Young Entrepreneurs Showcase
May 30 Blue Ocean Bash
See complete schedule Sign up for alerts

The Location

Fort Collins, Colorado

Situated about an hour north of Denver, Fort Collins embraces an exciting urban lifestyle with a friendly small-town feel.

Getting Around

Get around with the Transfort bus system or by bicycle – Fort Collins is one of the most bicycle friendly cities in the country, and you can borrow a bike from the Fort Collins Bike Library.

What to do

Need a break from challenge festivities? Fort Collins is known for its historic Old Town, dining and nightlife, arts and music culture, and prodigious number of craft breweries. There are also some great natural areas nearby, including the landmark Horsetooth Rock. Find out more specifics from Design Sponge or Visit Fort Collins.

Where to stay

Fort Collins has a variety of accommodation choices, including the Armstrong Hotel (259 S. College Ave.), the Hilton (425 W. Prospect Rd.), and the Marriott (350 E. Horsetooth Rd.). Find other accommodation options.

About the Challenge

Created by Colorado State University‘s Institute for Entrepreneurship and College of Business and Blue Ocean Enterprises, Inc., the CSU Blue Ocean Enterprises Challenge is one of the richest competitions in the nation. The CSU Blue Ocean Enterprises Challenge aims to bring into one inspirational week the best college entrepreneurs, innovative startups, and young, growing companies. While it is a celebration of innovation, the Enterprise Challenge also is a very real chance for one business to walk away with $250,000 in cash. The CSU Blue Ocean Enterprises Challenge is held in conjunction with Fort Collins Startup Week.
Fort Collins Startup Week

In the Press

Decibullz Takes 250k Blue Ocean Challenge Prize and Turbo Charges Custom Headphone Business (January 20, 2015)

The Denver Post Techknow Bytes. (Jan. 13, 2015)

The Denver Post. (Jan. 5, 2015)

TechRockies. (Nov. 20, 2014)

Colorado State University Collegian. (Dec. 8, 2014)

Coloradoan. (Nov. 26, 2014)

Philadelphia Business Journal. (June 5, 2014)

Northern Colorado Business Report. (June 13, 2014)

Northern Colorado Business Report. (May 27, 2014)

Built in Colorado. (May 23, 2014)

The Coloradoan. (May 24, 2014)

Boulder County Business Report. (May 23, 2014)

CSU Magazine. (Spring 2014)

U.S. Air Force Academy. (May 10, 2014)

Northern Colorado Business Report. (May 9, 2014)

Northern Colorado Business Report. (May 2, 2014)

Pitch Zoo. (May 9, 2014)

Algae Industry (May 2, 2014)

Northern Colorado Business Report. (Apr. 30, 2014)

Today @ Colorado State. (Apr. 25, 2014)

Fort Collins Coloradoan. (Feb. 14, 2014)

FalconWorks (Air Force Academy). (Feb. 13, 2014)

Today @ Colorado State University. (Feb. 12, 2014)

Fort Collins Coloradoan. (Feb. 11, 2014)

Northern Colorado Business Report. (Sep. 25, 2013)

Denver Business Journal. (Sep. 25, 2013)

Northern Colorado Business Report. (Dec. 13, 2013)

Denver Business Journal. (Dec 12, 2013)

Download Press Release

On the Web